Recent studies have shown that cell shape and tissue structure can dictate functional behavior in engineered tissues (1). One method for controlling tissue structure in vitro is microcontact printing, where extracellular matrix proteins are patterned on a substrate to construct arrays of single cells or multicellular tissues. This technique is used to create tissues that mimic in vivo architecture which can be used to study tissue properties and disease mechanisms (2). Traditional seeding of cells on the substrate is imprecise, but our group has developed a microfluidic device for spatial control of cell seeding, which creates more replicable high-fidelity tissues. However, the current method is low-throughput and labor intensive. Here, we present a scalable system of multiple microfluidic devices for parallel cell seeding. This high-throughput, precise approach reduces experimental variation, making biochemical assays on single cell arrays possible in future work. We will use this system to create large arrays of single cells of various shapes for phenotypic studies and to create arrays of tissues with varying cellular organization.
1)Alford, P. W., Nesmith, A. P., Seywerd, J. N., Grosberg, A., & Parker, K. K. (2011). Vascular smooth muscle contractility depends on cell shape. Integrative Biology, 3(11), 1063-1070.
2)Ruiz, S. A., & Chen, C. S. (2007). Microcontact printing: A tool to pattern. Soft Matter, 3(2), 168-177.
This report describes a high throughput microfluidic method to control cell placement in two-dimensional tissue engineering. Other contributors include Zaw Win and Patrick W. Alford (Faculty Mentor).
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
High-Throughput Method for Microfluidic Placement of Cells in Micropatterned Tissues.
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